"Cambodia?" "Present!" Catie drops her hand, which holds the placard. The room is filled with about 100 high school students. You can hear the rustling of papers and the nervous clicks of pens. We don't know what to expect and just stare at the front; four people are sitting on a podium, all of them are Harvard undergraduates. Welcome to the Emergency Council Committee. Our topic? The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1980.
From Jan. 27-30, the Sheraton hosted the Harvard Model United Nations, and, in the middle of all these mostly elite kids, Concord High School represented Cambodia. At least in our committee we were the country nobody cared about.
Nevertheless we were proud to "be Cambodian," because there were some weird countries I had never heard of. Where is Sao Tome and Principe? And who cares about Djibouti? I'll tell you, who cares about those countries: the United Nations.
Luckily I didn't have to go through these four days by myself; I had a great partner, which calmed me down, when I was overwhelmed by the simplicitiy and bigotry of some people. Thank you, Catie! One thing that I said during the committee sessions was that I would rather kill myself than have these kids become the leaders of our future.
Brazil never showed up again after the first session, and Japan was great in reading out loud. Thanks guys, but I think everybody knew the information on Wikipedia already! However, we learned so much in these four days and had a lot of fun.
You will find special types of people in every Model United Nations. First of all, we have the ambitious nerds, who bring their Apple laptop, 10 different colored pens, a huge conference folder and at least five pounds of sticky notes to every committee session.
Another type is the super confident loner and that turned out to be Iran. The American representing Iran was the most terrifying person ever. At first I was very impressed by his speech and knowledge, but after the second session I started to recognize that this guy seemed to be serious about every single word he was saying.
I don't know how often he praised the "Holy Jihad" or explained the Islamic Revolution as the Revolution of the world, but you could immediately tell which country he was. His voice and speeches had the feeling of Hitler and his annoying confidence was exactly like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I don't want to malign his character, but we should keep an eye on this student.
I want to introduce you to the majority of the people from our committee: the party people. I don't need to tell you much about them. These kids mostly take the position of page - the person who passes notes from country to country. But we had so many party people, that most just were sitting in the back playing Tic Tac Toe on the back of their resolution paper or snake on their super fancy smart phone and chatting about which country has the cutest guy or girl.
The kid representing Belgium was the biggest narcissist I've ever met in my life. He seriously sent a rose to himself. "From Belgium to Belgium" were the words of the chair.
The dance was a lot of fun, but really showed us that this is not the real United Nations. Can you imagine seeing President Obama and Angela Merkel (president of Germany) grinding? That's gross.
Without Concord High School as Cambodia the committees would not have been so much fun. We made a great start and I'm very proud of every single delegate from our group.
Being Cambodian for four days made me realize that I actually never had a national identity. In Germany I'm a foreigner; I'm Persian for them. On the other hand Persia sees me as a German with Persian roots, and here in America I'm the German exchange student. At least I know that I'm a human being and a citizen of this world. I have only three short months before my time in America is over.